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Clearing Success Story – Ellie, Cardiff University

Ellie, from Gloucestershire, used Clearing to get onto a Biomedical Science course at Cardiff University

Ellie, Cardiff
Ellie studies Biomedial
Science at
Cardiff University

What circumstances led you to use Clearing?

I had originally applied for Medicine and successfully gained three conditional offers after three interviews across the UK. On Results Day, I did not meet the grade requirements and so was rejected from both my firm and insurance universities. I therefore felt very lost and unsure of what to do next.

Did you prepare or research before Results Day?

I knew that if I did not meet the grade requirements, I would not be able to do Medicine. I therefore researched courses that I might want to do instead of Medicine and compiled a list of possible backup plans. I looked at different university websites to see if they offered similar courses in healthcare and what the grade requirements were.

Did anyone help you through Clearing? 

My parents were my main support system through the Clearing process. They provided words of encouragement, reassurance and many tissues. I was also lucky enough to have very supportive teachers who advised me of my options and provided me with the guidance I needed to know I still deserved a place at university. My teachers supported me by providing a desk, phone and computer in a side room where I could make phone calls.

How did you find out what courses were available? 

I looked on the UCAS Clearing page to find out what courses were available and I checked individual university websites. I also rang up different universities on Results Day to double check what courses were still available.

What helped you decide on your course?

Biomedical Science at Cardiff University was very appealing due to the shared first year and flexibility between five different science courses, which allowed me to swap from Neuroscience to Biomedical Science after the first year. The scientific grounding and valuable undergraduate skills that my course provides will help me to access the feeder route into Graduate Entry Medicine and still achieve my career aspirations.

Did you attend a Clearing Open Day? Was it useful?

I could not attend the Clearing Open Day, but I already knew I loved the university due to attending the medical school Open Day previously. I visited the Bioscience school with my mum at a weekend and a professor kindly offered to show me around the building in her free time, which confirmed my love for Cardiff University and the city.

Did you find a place to live easily?

Cardiff University gives you peace of mind through guaranteed accommodation for Clearing students. I was offered accommodation in University Halls, but I chose to live in private halls of residence as I wanted an ensuite.

Have you enjoyed university and your course?

My first year at university has been an extremely positive experience. I have had so many amazing opportunities, such as being a Neuroscience Rep, performing on stage for Broadway Dance Society and travelling to Prague for the Bioscience netball tour. I have thoroughly enjoyed my course and have loved developing my scientific knowledge, as the modules in first year are so broad and varied. Being taught by professors who are experts in their field is inspiring and makes Cardiff a fantastic place to study. I am so glad I received a second chance through Clearing, as I believe everything happens for a reason.

What's your top tip for students in the lead up to Results Day?

My advice would be to make sure you have a backup plan. Get there early and be prepared for all possibilities and outcomes of Results Day. It can be a very overwhelming and emotional day, so to make things less stressful, having a list ready of courses and universities you would be happy to accept will definitely help if you do find yourself in Clearing. Remember, Clearing does not mean failure, it just provides an alternate path to the same destination. As one door closes, so many more open.